Choose the link to the grade range you Climb

-V0, V1, V2
-V2, V3, V4
-V4, V5, V6
-V6, V7, V8
Official Trail Map

Map of Front Area

Map of Back Area

If you’ve never checked out the Mount Gretna bouldering scene before, read….

Welcome to the Free 1 Day Mount Gretna Bouldering Guide! So you have decided to take 1 day to boulder at Governor Dick Park in Mount Gretna. You’ve made a good choice.  Mount Gretna bouldering is known for its friction and small footholds due to a rare type of rock to climb on called Diabase. Most of the climbable Diabase boulders are found mostly within 2 hours of the Mount Gretna area. This makes boudering in Mount Gretna a unique experience so lets take the time to appreciate what the local climbing community has done to help keep access unhindered.

This post is designed to give you everything you need to know about bouldering for 1 day in Mount Gretna, almost no frills, just good solid information that will help you spend the most time on the rock as possible. The aim is to get you the best directions and some beta (if you want it) to get you on high quality problems within an area of reasonably high problem concentration.

Whether you are transitioning from the gym to the crag or you are travelling and have a spare day in the Mount Gretna area you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for good problems with good landings. We have put in a good amount of thought into providing you with decent landings as the travelling folk and newbies tend to not have tons of spotters or pads. This means we might not put you on the ultra-classic lines but trust me, we are trying our best. If you are transitioning from the gym to outside expect to climb at least 2 grades below what you are projecting in the gym and don’t get discouraged, it’s just harder outside. Lastly, if you enjoy this guide or have any changes you think are relevant please leave us some feedback via the form on the front page.

1. Climbing and Bouldering are both Dangerous…

By continuing to read this post, as a reader of Pebble Pusher Bouldering Guides, you assume all risk associated with the activities described in this guide. Your safety depends on your own good judgment. The activities described in this post may lead to dangerous situations, and can result in serious injury or death. Bouldering and other forms of rock climbing require a significant degree of experience and instruction, which is outside the scope of this article.

There are hazards and dangers that are not described in this guide and we make no guarantee that the information in this guide is accurate. We could be completely wrong about everything so you follow this guide at your own risk because we are certainly not an expert just a dirt bag boulderer who wants to help climbers enjoy their limited time.

Another disclaimer I do not own all of the videos in this article. I found a lot of them on YouTube and compiled them for your benefit. Let me know if a video gets taken down.

2. Budgeting for your Trip

There are a myriad of reasons bouldering in Mount Gretna. The first reason is because it’s free and you can find camping for really cheap, if you play your cards right. The Pinch Pond campground which is located less than 5 mins away from the park where you can have your own tent site for 2 adults for $41/night (as of 11/20/18). Extra People are $7/night and an extra tent fee may apply if you set up more than one tent. Check out their website for more details.

If you are a penny pincher like me, but you don’t want to spend the night sleeping in a parking lot somewhere, I would suggest staying at Stoever’s Dam park in Lebanon PA which is 24 minutes away from Mount Gretna and costs $3/night per person. It’s a nice primitive campground on the edge of a pond with a fire ring and I think it’s great. The problem is booking the campsite is not exactly easy. You have to go to Lebanon County and City Building (located at 400 South 8th Street, Lebanon, PA 17042) and purchase the camping permit while the office is open (Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm).

When budgeting don’t forget to add in road tolls as they can add up quickly in this area. If you need to rent pads, you are out of luck because I am not aware of any local shop that rents them. You could probably find them in Philadelphia, but that’s about an hour and a half away.

3. Getting There

Use Google maps to find: Clarence Schock Environmental Center and Trail Head, the GPS coordinates are 40.237368, -76.458780, or click the link. It’s pretty lucky for everyone, the bouldering areas in Mount Gretna have pretty good cell service so you shouldn’t run into too many issues of getting lost.

4. Format

We’ve documented at least 6 problems in each of the following grade ranges, so pick the grade range that best applies to you. Check out the directional videos and the GPS coordinates to get you where you need to go.

V0, V1, V2 Plan

Colflesh Area:

From the parking lot walk past the environmental center and find the trail head. You will come to 3, 3 way intersections take a right at each of them. The first intersection is about 2 mins from the parking lot the second is an additional 30 seconds and the final is about a minute down the hill from the third. Upon reaching the 3rd intersection look for a trail marker on the left within 40ft of the intersection (like the one in the picture below) and turn left. Follow that trail into the Colflesh Area. If you want some help navigating the Colflesh area and finding the problems in this area check out this video. Directional Video

ELEPHANT BOULDER: To get to the Elephant Boulder walk down into the area at the first climbable boulders (Breakfast Boulders) you see, stay high and follow the path that passes right underneath them and ends at the Elephant Boulder. GPS Location

1. V0- Elephant Walk: Stand start and climb the slab. Beta Video

2. V0 Outer Dark: Stand Start in the seam and climb up and right through the crack, pull onto the slab and top out. Beta Video

3. V0 Inner Dark: Stand start with good holds head high and right hand in the pocket. Work up the crack and top out. Beta Video

COLFLESH BOULDER: Walk back up to the Breakfast Boulders and turn right and you’ll be at the Colflesh Boulder. GPS Location

4. V2 Torretti: Start with both hands on good right hand side pull on the right side of the face. Move up and right until you hit the jugs and top out on easy slab. Beta Video    There is another shorter variation on this face called Jenn Savage. I find it less fun then Torretti but it is still worth it. It goes V2 see the beta video if you are interested. Jenn Savage Beta Video

5. V2 Poison Ivy: Sit start matched on big right hand side pull. Traverse up and right with the crack and top out on the rounded corner Beta Video

 

45 Area:

Navigate your way back up to the main trail and turn right. Stay right at the intersection and follow the trail until you come to some boulders hugging the left side of the path (See picture below). On the backside of the adjuster boulder you should find another trail marker. Turn left and take that path. The path will lead you to a large rock pile, hike over it. When you reach the point where it starts to level off, look for Omega Zen (see pictures below). Directional Video

SCARLET LADY BOULDERS: GPS Location

6. V1 Omega Zen: Stand start the corner and then climb the face to the top out. Beta Video

SAVAGE BOULDERS: If you are looking at Omega Zen the Savage Boulders, where you will find Ping and Pong, should be directly to your right within eyesight. Walk toward the boulder and Ping and Pong are on the right side of the boulder. GPS Location

7. V1 Pong: Sit start matched on the jug. Make a couple thuggy moves to gain the jug and top out. Beta Video

8. V1 Ping: Start with hands wide on left arête and right hand side pull and a nice heel hook. Bump and thrutch your way to the top   Beta Video      

V2, V3, V4 Plan

Colflesh Area:

From the parking lot walk past the environmental center and find the trail head. You will come to 3, 3 way intersections take a right at each of them. The first intersection is about 2 mins from the parking lot the second is an additional 30 seconds and the final is about a minute down the hill from the third. Upon reaching the 3rd intersection look for a trail marker on the left within 40ft of the intersection (like the one in the picture below) and turn left. Follow that trail into the Colflesh Area. If you want some help navigating the Colflesh area and finding the problems in this area check out this video. Directional Video

COLFLESH BOULDER: Upon entering the Colflesh Area turn left at the first Y and you’ll be at the Colflesh Boulder. GPS Location

1. V2 Torretti: Start with both hands on good right hand side pull on the right side of the face. Move up and right until you hit the jugs and top out on easy slab. Beta Video    There is another shorter variation on this face called Jenn Savage. I find it less fun then Torretti but it is still worth it. It goes V2 see the beta video if you are interested. Jenn Savage Beta Video

2. V2 Poison Ivy: Sit start matched on big right hand side pull. Traverse up and right with the crack and top out on the rounded corner Beta Video

 

BODY SNAP BOULDER: From Colflesh, find the path that leads downhill between Colflesh and the Breakfast Boulders and take it, then take a left to arrive at Body Snap. GPS Location

3. V4 Body Snap: Stand Start on high right hand sloper and low right hand undercling crimp move up and right to the top out. Beta Video

45 Area:

Navigate your way back up to the main trail and turn right. Stay right at the intersection and follow the trail until you come to some boulders hugging the left side of the path (See picture below). On the backside of the adjuster boulder you should find another trail marker. Turn left and take that path. The path will lead you to a large rock pile, hike over it. When you reach the point where it starts to level off, look for the Scarlet Lady (see pictures below). Directional Video

SCARLET LADY BOULDERS:GPS Location

4. V4 Scarlet Lady: Stand start in the center of the boulder on the crescent shaped hold. Climb up and top out Beta Video (Note this beta video might note be the “pure line,” but it’s still V4 and still super fun.)

SAVAGE BOULDERS: If you are looking at the Scarlet Lady, to the right you will see  the Savage Boulders, where you will find Triangle, should be directly to your right within eyesight.  Triangle should be looking right at you as you approach. GPS Location

5. V3 Triangle: Sit start on the Triangle feature, climb up and slightly right to the top out. Beta Video

Shamu Area:

To get to Shamu from the Triangle Problem, continue on the path. At the T continue straight and at the following Y go right and head up the hill. From the Y walk about 50 seconds and take your next left onto a small side trail. In front of you will be some boulders in the hillside, follow it straight and right to find Overlord (see pictures below).

 

WAVE BOULDERS: GPS Location

6. V2 Overlord:  Sit start on the big edge and keep your feet off of the detached block. Move up through good holds to the jug and top out to the left. This is one of my favorite V2s anywhere. Just an FYI if you top out in the middle of the scoop I found it to be incredibly awkward and kind of scary, but do what you want. Beta Video

BOX BOULDERS: Make your way back down to the trail and turn left to continue away from the 45 area. You will pass a less traveled path on the left and then make it to a Y. At the Y keep right and then Help Meat will be on your left and Talking to Myself will be slightly behind Help Meat and to the right.

7. V4 Help Meat: Stand start on thin crimps on the face at head height. Move up to the slopers and miracle your way over the lip. Beta Video     GPS Location

8. V3 Talking to Myself: Sit start on the good edges on the face, Use the arête and crimps to gain the top and enjoy the precarious top out. Beta Video     GPS Location 

V4, V5, V6 Plan

Colflesh Area:

From the parking lot walk past the environmental center and find the trail head. You will come to 3, 3 way intersections take a right at each of them. The first intersection is about 2 mins from the parking lot the second is an additional 30 seconds and the final is about a minute down the hill from the third. Upon reaching the 3rd intersection look for a trail marker on the left within 40ft of the intersection (like the one in the picture below) and turn left. Follow that trail into the Colflesh Area. If you want some help navigating the Colflesh area and finding the problems in this area check out this video. Directional Video

COLFLESH BOULDER: Upon entering the Colflesh Area turn left at the first Y and you’ll be at the Colflesh Boulder. GPS Location

1. V5 Colflesh: Stand Start on crimp and side pull. Gain side pull edges and use the side pull edges to move up the boulder on interesting footholds to the top out. (Note: There is a hold out to the left of a small vertical face crack that as you move from the side pull edges up to the jugs that makes the move ever so slightly easier by giving you an intermediate. There are some purists that would say that hold is out. I say do whatever makes you happy. This climb is awesome either way!) Beta Video

BODY SNAP BOULDER: From Colflesh, find the path that leads downhill between Colflesh and the Breakfast Boulders  take it, then take a left to arrive at Body Snap GPS Location

2. V4 Body Snap: Stand Start on high right hand sloper and low right hand undercling crimp move up and right to the top out. Beta Video

Smiley Area:

Navigate your way back up to the main trail and turn right. Stay right at the intersection and pass the turn off behind the adjuster boulder and then take your next left. Upon turning left, Smiley is about 1 minute and 15 seconds away so keep left at the first Y and then take your first right. GPS Location

3. V4 Smiley: Start with a hand foot match in Smiley’s Smile. Bump out left to a good edge and then start to move up through slopey holds and jugs to the top out. Beta Video

Highball Area:

Make it back to the path and turn left to retrace the way you came keeping right until you reach the main trail. Turn left walking for about three and a half minutes until you see the landmark Highball Boulder (see below).At the boulder stay straight on the path (right) and just before you cross a small stream look for a path on the right before the down tree (see directional video). Follow the ‘path’ (and I use that term loosely) and you’ll see Gladiator on the backside of a boulder. The directional video should be very helpful in finding it. If you want to give it a go yourself, once behind the down tree find something that looks like a path and look for some cairns. Follow the gully and then head downhill staying away from the brush until you find gladiator.  Directional Video

 

4. V6 Gladiator: Sit start on your choice of crimps. Move up crimps and through crack to the top out. The V7 version moves up and right to a flat hold and then tops out. Beta Video (V7 Version)    GPS Location

    Matrix Area:

    Make your way back to the Highball boulder, but this time turn right, pass the highball boulder and head uphill. Stay on the path for about 7 and a half minutes, when you come to a big boulder in the middle of the path (see below) turn right and follow the path for approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds more and take a left. Here you will find Reunion and Needle to the Vein. The boulder directly right of Needle to the Vein is Porcelain, a really cool V3 friction slab if you want a bonus climb.

    UPPER MATRIX BOULDERS: GPS Location

    5. V5 Reunion: Stand start with left hand on the slopey arête and right hand in the seam. Make seemingly ungraceful moves up to the jug and top out. Beta Video

    6. V5 Needle to the Vein: Stand start on right hand sloper and left hand crimp with small feet. Move up and right and top out  Beta Video

    YEAR OF THE DRAGON BOULDERS: From the Upper Matrix Boulders, go back down to the path and turn left. Pass the path that leads back down to the white diamond trail on your right (see picture below) and head straight until the path makes a Y at a downed tree. Go right and follow the path until you see Year of the Dragon on your left. GPS Location     Directional Video

    7. V6 Year of the Dragon:  Start on crimps and move through more crimps to gain the slopers and top out. Beta Video

    V6, V7, V8 Plan

    45 Area:

    From the parking lot walk past the environmental center and find the trail head. You will come to 3, 3 way intersections take a right at the first 2 and a left at the third. The first intersection is about 2 mins from the parking lot the second is an additional 30 seconds and the final is about a minute down the hill from the third. Follow the trail until you come to a boulder hugging the left side of the path (See picture below). On the backside of the boulder you should find another trail marker and the Adjuster boulder problem. GPS Location

    1. V8 Adjuster: Sit start with left hand on gaston crimp and right hand on a jug and move into a right hand gaston. Get your body under the right hand and  move up through a crimp or a bad right hand to the top out. Beta Video

    Highball Area:

    From the Adjuster Boulder Problem continue walking away from the parking lot for about seven and a half minutes until you see the land mark highball boulder (see below). At the boulder (do not turn) stay straight on the path (right) and just before you cross a small stream look for a path on the right before the down tree (see directional video). Follow the ‘path’ (and I use that term loosely) and you’ll see Gladiator on the backside of one of the boulders. The directional video should be very helpful in finding this if you turn the sound up. If you want to give it a go yourself, once behind the down tree find something that looks like a path and look for some cairns. Follow the gully and then head downhill staying away from the brush until you find gladiator.  Directional Video

     

    2. V6 Gladiator: Sit start on your choice of crimps. Move up crimps and through crack to the top out. The V7 version moves up and right to a flat hold and then tops out. Beta Video (V7 Version)    GPS Location

    3. V7 Momentary Lapse of Reality: Sit start on crimp and move up and right to the top out. (I am currently in need of a beta video for this so if you are interested I will pay the first person who contacts me via the contact form with a clear beta video of this problem $5 so I can upload it to YouTube, or you could just help me and all the other climbers out.)    GPS Location

    Prow Area:

    Make your way back to the Highball boulder, but this time turn right, pass the highball boulder and head uphill. Stay on the path for about 7 and a half minutes and when you come to a big boulder in the middle of the path (see below)  turn left and head uphill. The Islander and the Prow will be about 25ft in front of you on your right. GPS location

    4. V7 Prow: Start underneath the boulder, climb the arête and top out to the right.  (I am currently in need of a beta video for this so if you are interested I will pay the first person who contacts me via the contact form with a clear beta video of this problem $5 so I can upload it to YouTube, or you could just help me and all the other climbers out.)

    5. V8 Islander: Sit start underneath the boulder. Move to the crimps on the left face and top out to the left of the arête. Beta Video

    Matrix Area:

    From the prow head downhill and around the big boulder. Then continue straight for about 5 more minutes pass the path back down to the white diamond trail on your right and head straight until the path makes a Y at a down tree. Go right and follow the path until you see Year of the Dragon on your left. GPS Location     Directional Video

    6. V6 Year of the Dragon: Start on crimps and move through more crimps to gain the slopers and top out. Beta Video

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